Kohl’s taking a fresh approach to home merchandising in new concept stores


A rendering of Kohl’s mini store format shows the open-plan layout and more modern fixtures.

Menomonee Falls, Wis. – Kohl’s later this week will kick off its pursuit of what it calls a $500 million opportunity with the grand opening of small-sized stores in four states.

At approximately 35,000 sq. ft. the stores are less than half the size of Kohl’s standard 80,000-sq.-ft. boxes. The format is designed to put the retailer into new neighborhoods where it can offer hyper-localized assortments. The retailer began testing the concept last June at a pilot store in Bonney Lake, Wash.

One of the first of a new cluster of stores will open on Nov. 4 in Tacoma, Wash. The Eddie Bauer and Columbia brands figure heavily in in a cross-category assortment designed to appeal to Northwestern lifestyles.

The pared-down home department features vignettes tagged with QR codes so that customers can explore the full range of items available for purchase, according to a walk-through of the small-format Kohl’s recorded by the local News Tribune.

A new small-format store will also open Nov. 4 in the Berkshire’s community of Lenox, Mass. Key brands there will include Under Armour, Levis, Champion, Sonoma Goods For Life and LC by Lauren Conrad, the Berkshire Edge reported.

Additional stores are slated to open soon in San Angelo, Texas and Morgantown, W.V.

The overall look and feel of the new concept is designed to showcase a new and modern Kohl’s. Polished concrete will replace carpet and new modern fixtures are designed to better spotlight branding throughout the open plan store.

Check-out counters are being shunted off to the side of the entrance so that shoppers encounter story-telling vignettes upon walking through the doors. Although small on space, the new format what appears to be a full-sized version of the Sephora shop-in-shops now rolling out at exiting Kohl’s stores.

““Our goal is to provide a solution-oriented layout that guides customers through the store and helps them find what they are looking for,” said Nancy Carruth, Kohl’s executive vice president, brand strategy, creative & experience design.

Last May, Kohl’s announced it will open 100 small stores over the next five years in markets where it has no physical locations. Executives said the format could add another $500 million in sales.

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